Every Fourth of July, we celebrate American heroes like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington. Without these brave men to lead the colonists, independence never would have been possible.
But out of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, none of them died from the war. Sure, Button Gwinnett (one of the signers) was shot and killed during the war, but he wasn't killed by the British. He died when he challenged an American officer to a duel in 1777 (and lost).
The bulk of the fighting and dying was done by men and boys that have been largely forgotten to history; American colonists who heard the call of freedom and took up arms to fight the most powerful military in the world.
But how many actually fought back?
Many people say that the number of colonists who fought in the Revolution is around three percent of the colonies' total population. They get that number by taking the total number of American colonists who served at the height of the war (about 80 thousand) and dividing it by the colonies' total population at the time (2.5 million).
The truth is that many more Americans served during the course of the war, but simply did not all serve at the same time. So the percentage is likely closer to ten percent, but the point still remains true. The vast majority of Americans did not take up arms to fight for freedom.
Some were "loyalists" and continued to serve the British crown. Others supported the revolution but couldn't or wouldn't actively participate. Many helped behind the scenes to supply the army and militia, and care for their wounded. But only a few percent of the Colonists actually fought for what is right.
Today, we are confronted with a similar challenge. More than 200 million Americans are registered to vote but of those, only around half end up voting in a given year.
The vast majority of Americans also aren't really that politically engaged. An Allstate/National Journal Poll shows that only 9% of Americans put pressure on Congress on a regular basis by writing their Congressman/Senators. Since half of them are likely Leftists, it is safe to say that you are part of the 4.5% of Americans who are actively fighting for conservative principles.
Just like only a few percent of American colonists took up arms for Freedom, only a few percent of Americans today fight on a daily basis for conservatism. And you are part of that. The Revolutionary heroes won our freedom and now it is up to you to preserve it.
So on this Fourth of July, raise a glass to the 56 signatories of the Declaration of Independence. By all means, toast Washington, Jefferson, and the other famous Revolutionaries.
But also don't forget to honor the 3% of Americans who took up arms and fought for what is right. And once the holiday is over, get ready to fight to protect the freedoms that they won for us…
A festive Fourth of July holiday to you,